Monday, August 18, 2008

Former Police Chief of Seattle critiques the War on Drugs

From Reason TV

Norm Stamper is a cop who saw it all during his 34 years on active duty. As police of Seattle from 1994 through 2000, he was in charge during violent World Trade Organization protests in the Emerald City.

Stamper, who holds a Ph.D. in leadership and human behavior from United States International University, has emerged as one of the most thoughtful and outspoken critics of the war on drugs, which he believes causes untold misery, undermines effective law enforcement, and doesn't begin to pass any sort of cost-benefit analysis. As important, the libertarian Stamper believes that the drug war—and other wars on the behaviors on consenting adults—does great violence to the idea that we own our bodies.

Stamper is the author of the Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing (2005) and now works with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a nonprofit created by former cops to "reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition."

For an audio podcast version, go here.

Typical of the US debate it is heavily cannabis skewed, a doubtless reflecting his experience on the front line, and also reflects his libertarian sensibilities. Interesting stuff from a senior police officer.


chrisbx515 said...

Here is another link to the debate from the US worth a watch

Anonymous said...

Offtopic but still quite interesting:

They are asking for the legal drinking age to be lowered from 21 to curb 'binge drinking' -- another case where legalisation would be useful in harm reduction.